Thursday, December 08, 2016

This one, in the foreground, Cobweb from our Fringe show, last night graduated to playing Titania. So I got to see my beloved Midsummer Night's Dream again. And it was ace.
Some fierce editor had managed to slice the script so it ran at a tidy 53 minutes - with songs! But we still had Philostrate and we still had Egeus and the poor superfluous Fairy whom I ruthlessly cut from our version made an appearance too.

It was a school production so I was uncharitably apprehensive. Clearly Cobweb / Titania would be excellent or I wouldn't have cast her. But the others?

I need not have feared. The young lovers were delightful. Hermia was wearing a paticularly fetching yellow dress - that she didn't have to hitch up before she walked. 

Hippolyta was regal. Theseus was handsome and wise. The four named fairies and the bolt on were all nicely costumed. They danced - properly danced - which was impressive. Puck was a bit of a star. A she - which seems wrong to me as now, Puck should wear a tie and tails and be Matt - in green tights and twining leaves painted onto her face. All very leapy and spritey. The mechanicals were great fun - black t-shirts with their names printed on the back. I preferred our costumes - and Bottom was brilliant. Titania was regal and haughty and stupidly infatuated with the ass but then she danced with happy abandon at the end, reunited with her love. Who was the only slight let down. He announced the bank where the wild thyme grows far too fast. But then he was 15, maybe 16. You'd have to go some to out Oberon Gregor now, for my money. 

Interestingly, their Philostrate turned out to be a lecherous fellow too. This guy scampered on "late" for his final scene as he'd been pranking with Mustardseed (expressed beautifully in his smart slap on her rump) in a hideous coupling of mortal with fairy that nobody else seemed to mind. 

Two glorious things. All kids but they spoke Shakespeare excellently well. Hats off to them and their teachers.
And they brought such energy and excitement and cool-ness and a sort of urban streetwise grit to it that was infectious. This is how Shakespeare should be reinvented. I grinned through the whole thing. Just marvellous.  


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